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Charity story

RECONNECTING COMMUNITIES

A building refurbishment has returned a church to its former glory, creating a local community hub

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Community Church Putney

London, UK

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A church is not only a place of worship, it can also be a setting to provide local amenities and where people meet to feel connected to their community.

The Community Church in Putney is a big advocate for developing its facilities to the benefit of the local community, hosting activities for people of all ages and backgrounds.

The church prides itself on being diverse and inclusive, offering programmes to promote good mental health, a community café for people who feel isolated, a carers and toddlers group, and events for young people.  


BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER

As well as serving a regular congregation of up to 140 people, the church has evolved into a cherished hub for the wider community, and has even helped reconnect individuals who lost contact with their families.

Jeremy Howe, Operations Manager and Pastor at the church, told us: “It has been amazing to see the impact on people’s lives over time. Many of our attendees feel isolated and helpless at first. But in some instances, they make lifelong friends that help them in moments of need – in one case we even had a young man who was able to reconnect with his family after many years, which has allowed him to find accommodation and work. 

BUILDING RENOVATION

The church's goal to grow its community outreach inspired the building refurbishment and upgrade.

Originally built in the 1880’s, the church’s ageing and underused building was transformed in 2016, with the help of a CAF Bank loan* of £1.2 million.

The refurbishment of the site removed a false ceiling to let light flood back into the building, revealing a beautiful horseshoe balcony and stained glass windows.  The funds also helped equip the building with disabled access, a new kitchen, toilet facilities and integrated audio system.

Jeremy said: “We had no disabled access before, and this really limited what we could and couldn’t do. We wouldn’t have the capacity we have now had it not been for this loan. We are at capacity in terms of the programmes we run but at least the new facilities provide a much better and well-suited space to carry out our outreach work for the community.”

Kelly Lillington, from CAF Bank, added: “This project really appealed to us because of the immense social impact on the local community. The church is really bringing people together from all walks of life, and this mutual support is so important in today’s fast-changing world.”

FINANCING YOUR FUTURE PLANS

Is your church or faith charity looking to expand or upgrade its building facilities? Find out if flexible finance could help fund your future plans.

Contact our charity loan experts for a free consultation, or download CAF's free guide to repayable finance.

* CAF Bank loans are non-regulated products.

Loan applications subject to credit assessment. Security will be required.

Charity assets may be at risk if you do not keep up with the repayments for a mortgage, loan or any other debt secured on them.

If you're thinking of consolidating existing borrowing, you should be aware that you may be extending the term of the debt and increasing the total amount you pay.

CAF Bank Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register number: 204451).

CAF Bank Limited Registered office is 25 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4JQ. Registered in England and Wales under number 1837656.